Athlete of the Month

The Team Sheeper Athlete of the Month award is handed out to a member of the team on a monthly basis, 7 or 8 times a year. The AOM is someone who made a notable contribution to the team or did something remarkable. Selection is made by nomination and voting by the membership.

You can nominate anyone and the nomination period is usually during the first week or two of the month. Look for notification that nominations are being sought.  When nomination close, the voting starts and once all the votes are tallied, the new AOM is crowned.

Besides bragging rights for a month, our AOM gets some goodies from our gracious sponsors, such as free shoes from TRH, a massage from SMI, gift certificates from GoRide.

Fleet Feet Menlo Park is proud to sponsor this month's athlete who embodies the spirit of Team Sheeper. We believe running can change everything, that an active lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle, and that we all have an athlete hidden within.

Paul Buttery

April 2014 Athlete of the Month

What is an injury or obstacle you have had to overcome to achieve your goal?

My toughest injury to overcome was herniating two disks about 6 years ago (during a trial foot race). I couldn’t drive or even sit in a chair for about 6 months after and it was almost 3 years before I could run again. It was shortly after joining Team Sheeper that I really focused on athletics again. Now, despite some lingering sciatica, I can run without issue. It's great to feel fit again!

How many hours a week do you typically train?

Consistency is my toughest personal challenge so I wouldn't say there is a "typical" week. Leading up to WildFlower I was training ~10-15 hrs per week. Some weeks I fall off and only train 5 hrs. There's still much to be desired. But I think that's the point of this sport - to admit your flaws but strive for your best. I’m back in my groove again now and aiming for 10-15 hrs again in preparation for Penticton long course.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to a beginner triathlete?

Don't go straight for the Ironman! It seems like many people start triathlon to finish an Ironman. They train for it, finish it, and leave the sport all within a year. This approach misses all the long-term benefits - the fitness, the nutritional changes, the friendships - that take years to build. Excuse the cliche but enjoy the journey by building your goals in stepped phases, allowing the lessons from each step to truly sink in.

How do you set your goals?

On the first full moon of the new year, I sacrifice a baby lamb to the gods, asking them for a sign ... oh wait, wrong sport. Awkward. Actually, my goal this year is "just show up" which was inspired from Tim's speech at the Christmas party (sorry for the brown nosing). I've signed up for many of the team races this year and try to attend the key team workouts (track, chase groups, Saturday rides, Sunday runs). I also tried all of the team challenges though some of them got the best of me. Our coaches put so much into building the team community - "just show up" is my way of saying thank you.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

Heidi, my wife, urged me to join Team Sheeper about 3 months after she joined. She was my inspiration then and still is. I realize I'm biased but I'm not alone - so many others seem to be drawn to Heidi's enthusiasm, charm and determination. Sometimes she's the high five waiting for me at the end of WildFlower long course. Sometimes she's the foot that kicks me out of bed Monday mornings for an early swim. Always, she inspires me to dig deeper and bring out the best in myself.

Paul Buttery